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The most tasteless TV pranks ever

“Where’s Ashton?”

This, the usual response when an A-list star is approached by a camera crew after being scared out of their wits, is shorthand for light-hearted TV prank.

They do things a little differently in Egypt, it seems, as we’re pretty sure Ashton Kutcher has never once tried to convince a celebrity they’re about to die in a horrible, fiery plane crash, as one "naughty naughty" TV host did on the weekend. Though he's far from alone in crossing the line in pursuit of ratings and viral gold.

Hilton’s debacle kicks off our meanest TV pranks ever…

Paris Hilton thinks she’s going to die in a plane crash

Poor Paris. The socialite was already scared of flying before she boarded what she believed to be a VIP plane tour of Dubai, cutting its engines as soon as it reached the air. Cue every passenger (actor) shrieking and others jumping out with parachutes, reducing the only one not in on the joke to a quivering wreck. It was only after crazy Egyptian host Ramez Galal took her by the hand and brought her outside was he able to explain to the heiress that it had all been one big ‘hilarious’ gag, or rather she had been. Unsurprisingly, given the heiress was in a state of shock, it took a while to let the facts sink in. She took it considerably well. But then, "whatever".

Passengers locked on trains with zombies in Brazil

Brave a Monday morning commute in London and most of your fellow passengers will resemble the walking dead. This though is nothing compared to the horror which befell metro passengers in Brazil last year, as TV show Silvio Santos trapped passengers on board stranded trains with actors dressed as reanimated corpses. Flickering lights only added to the terror as unwitting travellers suddenly found themselves in pitch-black, secluded stations surrounded by swarms of these creatures and saw them praying that they don't get in. Big budget, highly disturbing.

Cambodian TV show pretends to reunite teen singer with estranged mother

When 13-year-old singer-songwriter Autumn Allen performed on a Mother’s Day special for Cambodian TV show Like It Or Not, the presenters told her she was about to be reunited with the mum she hadn’t seen in five years since she left the US. Understandably, she was in tears. By the end of it, she could well have been in tears for another reason as the producers sent out a cross-dressing character named Chuop Rolin, complete with a wig and fake breasts. The awkward laughs from the crowd barely disguise what an ill-thought out prank it was.

Killer clowns go on the loose

Will clowns ever stop being terrifying? Unlikely. Perhaps it’s those big red noses, caked on make-up, garish uniforms and overly large feet. Or, as seen in this viral video which we brought you last week, maybe it’s just, oh we don't know, the MASSIVE fangs and crack addict eyes given to the circus freaks which were filmed spooking members of the public. Armed with chainsaws, fake blood and going to a series of unsettling night time locations, the fact all members of the public had their faces blurred out, and thus clearly didn't approve themselves, we're not surprised 79 per cent of you voted that the prank went too far. One thing’s for sure: they weren’t clowning around.

Job candidates faced with end of the world

A good rule of thumb: telling someone a giant meteor is about to level a city behind them doesn’t bode well in a job interview. Because chances are there’s not going to be much of an office to come back to anyway. Regardless, this was the sobering prospect faced by the unsuspecting interview candidates starring in this TV ad, tricked into believing Armageddon had arrived early. In fact, given they were looking at a brand new spanking LG TV as opposed to a real window makes us wonder whether Bruce Willis’s Armageddon would have been the more apt DVD choice.

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The serial killer photobooth

Photobooths. God’s way of telling you you’re not photogenic. Well that was the least of people’s worries when BlackBoxTV decided to add a Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibe to one such photo-snapping cubicle. We won’t say much else about this except for our solemn promise that we will never venture into a photobooth again.